WHO Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan yesterday declared Zika an international emergency, albeit without adequate scientific proof. The declaration triggered provisions in the International Health Regulations for mass global vaccine campaigns with experimental vaccines, and for the third time in seven years.
Dr Chan admitted in her statement that there was no proof of a link between the arrival of the Zika virus in Brazil in autumn and an alleged surge in the number of cases of microcephaly.
“The experts agreed that a causal relationship between Zika infection during pregnancy and microcephaly is strongly suspected, though not yet scientifically proven,” she said.
To repeat, a causal relation between Zika infection during pregnancy and babies born with abnormally small heads has not been scientifically proven. Without such scientific proof there is, however, no basis for declaring Zika a public health emergency of international concern.
Instead of scientific proof, Dr Chan offered an assessment of the emotions surrounding the Zika virus. According to the Telegraph, Dr Chan said that “the level of alarm is extremely high”.
The level of alarm in the mainstream media is not proof of a link between the arrival of the Zika virus in Brazil in autumn and an alleged surge in the number of cases of microcephaly. But media hype is a convenient pretext for pharmaceutical companies to receive contracts from WHO to produce large quantities of Zika vaccines.
On the basis of a flawed reasoning, WHO has ordered preparations for a mass vaccine campaign with an experimental Zika jab.
“Appropriate research and development efforts should be intensified for Zika virus vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics.”
A vaccine for Zika is already being developed by U.S. and Canadian scientists could be available for use under a special emergency use clause before the end of the year.
Sanofi Pasteur, GSK and an assortment of biotech companies are already starting Zika vaccine production projects.
According to Fortune, President Barack Obama is taking a hands on approach to accelerating the development of the vaccine:
“President Barack Obama met Tuesday with his senior health advisers, including Fauci, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell and Centers for Disease Control Director Thomas Frieden.
The White House said Obama urged them to accelerate research into diagnostic tests, vaccines and therapeutic drugs, and work to inform Americans about the Zika virus and ways to protect against infection.”